So in the last post about the transfer I mentioned being PUPO. This is a term that is bandied about within the infertility community but is not a term that RE offices use and my councilor does not approve of it. It stands for “Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise”. It’s a way to deal with the uncertainty created in the time after embryo transfer when you don’t know if the cycle was successful. You’ve put a living embryo back into your uterus, but you have no idea if it’s still alive. At this point you aren’t allowed to drink alcohol or take most OTC drugs and your activities are severely limited, just like if you’re pregnant, because you might be. RE’s and therapists discourage this acronym because it can create false hope, not all who go through IVF become pregnant. Stats say it’s between 40-80% that succeed depending on your personal factors and how many embryos you’ve transferred back. So saying PUPO can be hurtful for the between 60-20% of patients that IVF fails for. Hope is a slippery bitch.
Be that as it may, I find the term PUPO to be very helpful for defining the weird in-between-ness that is an IVF cycle before you test. I liken it to the “Schrödinger’s Cat” experiment. This is a thought experiment in Physics wherein you place a cat into a box with one radioactive compound or another and then close the box. The cat is thought to have a 50/50 chance of being either dead or alive when the box is opened. In Quantum Mechanics the principle is taken even farther to mean that the cat is simultaneously both alive AND dead before you look. All at once!- Click here for a great video explaining this – But that’s kinda like being PUPO! You are both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time before testing. It’s a crazy place to be.